According to Rescue Her Director of Advocacy Sarah Phillips,
Meet the Local Group That Fights Sex Trafficking
And find out how you can take a stand against trafficking in your city
It’s 8:00 PM on a Saturday night when our crisis hotline rings. A nurse from a Dallas ER is calling about a 19-year-old patient they’ve identified as a trafficking victim. Clara* (the victim) is pregnant, was pushed out of a moving vehicle earlier that day by her trafficker, and is in the ER for potential pregnancy complications. She has no ID, no phone, no money, no support and no place to go once she leaves the hospital.
By 10:00 PM, our advocate is at the hospital with the Clara, offering support and working with hospital staff and law enforcement involved in her case. We bring Clara a Hope Kit full of hygiene items, a change of clothes, snacks, and a coloring book. This small act of kindness and support plants a seed of trust, and Clara begins to open up about what she’s been through and what she wants to do next. She is eager to receive help, but scared to stay in Dallas. Many women we work with share this concern, so we’ve developed close relationships with crisis shelters outside of Dallas. Thankfully, one of them has an opening that night! After being discharged from the hospital, Clara and our advocate begin the drive to safety a little over four hours after the initial crisis call was made.
Clara’s story is just a small glimpse into the assistance we offer survivors of trafficking in the DFW area. After this initial crisis call, Clara continued to receive services through our long-term Empower Program, including pre-natal care, counseling, assistance obtaining her GED, and finding a long-term program for trafficking survivors. We are thankful to say that she is still in a safe place, and expecting her baby boy in August!
In addition to Clara, from January – June 2019 we have had the privilege of assisting 43 adult survivors of trafficking through trauma-informed services such as crisis response, case management, mentorship, and advocacy. Our program has doubled in size over the past year, and we are so honored to be trusted by law enforcement, community partners, and survivors themselves to offer services that bring healing and restoration.
Each year, the funds raised on North Texas Giving Day go directly towards expanding our crisis response and advocacy program, enabling us to respond to more crisis calls and offer even more opportunities to the survivors in our Empower Program! It is so encouraging to see the amount of local support poured out each year on Giving Day. To us, the support we receive tells us that our community sees that trafficking happens here, they are NOT okay with it, and they truly believe that the futures of the survivors we work with are worth investing in. We are looking forward to September 19th to see how, once again, our community will come together on Giving Day to take a stand against trafficking by helping us expand our programs to offer more opportunities to survivors like Clara.
* Graphic/photo provided by Rescue Her
In ten years, Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $240 million into the North Texas community. In 2018, more than $48 million was raised through more than 157,000 gifts benefiting over 2,700 area nonprofits.